Просмотр полной версии : Изготовление божка Ктулху. Подробно о процессе

05.07.2012, 13:28
Cthulhu Idol Build

Many have been made before but this one will be mine...

Here's the famous passage from H.P. Lovecraft's 1933 story "The Call of Cthulhu" describing the world's Harbinger of Doom in statue form-

The figure, which was finally passed slowly from man to man for close and careful study, was between seven and eight inches in height, and of exquisitely artistic workmanship. It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters. The tips of the wings touched the back edge of the block, the seat occupied the centre, whilst the long, curved claws of the doubled-up, crouching hind legs gripped the front edge and extended a quarter of the way down toward the bottom of the pedestal. The cephalopod head was bent forward, so that the ends of the facial feelers brushed the backs of huge fore paws which clasped the croucher’s elevated knees. The aspect of the whole was abnormally life-like, and the more subtly fearful because its source was so totally unknown. Its vast, awesome, and incalculable age was unmistakable; yet not one link did it shew with any known type of art belonging to civilisation’s youth—or indeed to any other time. Totally separate and apart, its very material was a mystery; for the soapy, greenish-black stone with its golden or iridescent flecks and striations resembled nothing familiar to geology or mineralogy. The characters along the base were equally baffling; and no member present, despite a representation of half the world’s expert learning in this field, could form the least notion of even their remotest linguistic kinship. They, like the subject and material, belonged to something horribly remote and distinct from mankind as we know it; something frightfully suggestive of old and unhallowed cycles of life in which our world and our conceptions have no part.

The passage is packed with details but open enough for tons of artistic interpretation which is where the fun and frustration begins. http://www.therpf.com/images/styles/smilies/smile.gif

I've been a Lovecraft super-fan for a long time but also being a visual artist I am frustrated by most artist's interpretations of Cthulhu and the rest of the Lovecraft pantheon of extra dimensional beasts.

So being a prop fan I knew I would one day finally break down and sculpt my own version of the famous idol.

First comes research. I first began with the Lovecraft source material. In addition to the above passage describing the Idol itself there are a handful of descriptions of Cthulhu throughout the story. Some pertaining to other artifacts and some during the story climax where our heroes finally come face to face with the ancient god.

Also in addition to written descriptions of the Idol from the story we also have a couple hand-drawn sketches by Lovecraft himself in letters sent to friends and fans.



This gives me a good idea of the feel and form Lovecraft had in mind but since he wasn't a talented visual artist we can assume that these sketches are only a rough approximation and allows me to put my own spin on it while straying "Accurate".

Next I needed to figure out the overall look and feel of my Elder God and found a bunch of real-life reference that had similar properties to the creature in question.

In the text of the story he is described Cthulhu as "a scaly, rubbery-looking body", "a somewhat bloated corpulence" and having "flabby claws" and is just crazy enormous so the image of huge rotund sealife came to mind. Cthulhu has also been sleeping on the bottom of the ocean for millenia so a fat, sedantary look seemed appropriate. I also wanted something very alien and unhuman so I referenced a bunch of insects and microbiology photography too.

Below are some samples of what's in my reference folder-





Tardigrades are creepy-


Fat caterpillars are also creepy-


And crustacean arms and joints have a creepy design-


Also because the description includes the phrase "vaguely anthropomorphic" stuff like this can be found in my reference folder-


05.07.2012, 13:28
In the end this became the starting point for my sculpture-

I know I did a front view of the thing as well but can't find the drawing.

I really like the fact that Lovecraft included three eyes on the original sketches and made sure to include them on my version. Also I tried to add an extra joint in the arm to make the creature less human-like.
It's time to sculpt the thing but again wanted to do a bunch of research in the realm of ancient stone statues of this size and stone. The story describes the stone as a green and black stone with flecks of gold interspersed throughout.

After some searching online I found several real types of stone that fit the description fairly well but there is this stuff called labradorite that fit the bill really well.





I even played with a chunk of it at a mineral shop nearby and the stuff is so weird and cool. The final product will be resin and paint most likely but it's nice to take the research to it's ideal place.

Looking into the styles of sculpting I wanted to avoid the look of modern "garage kit" style sculpting and something that a looked a little more "ancient artifact" with old jade statues being a primary reference.

I've got folders of this stuff on my computer. The research is half the fun, right?




The heiroglyphics around the base are an important part of the story since they appear in various locations around the world during assorted time periods revealing the weirdness of Cthulhu's influence on various people all over the world.

I tried to design my own original style of writing but was unsatisfied with the results-

Instead I found an ancient Tibetan set of characters and slightly altered those to create believable text that felt old. It's a bit of a cheat but it sure does look the part.

I didn't take many pics of the sculpting process but here is the sculpture after it had been cooked and primered once and sanded and before the wings were attached.






More to come...


05.07.2012, 13:30
Also, I found another developmental drawing-
Nailing all the details simultaneously has actually been a really difficult challenge while maintaining the style I want to achieve. Some details are a slightly contradictory. Making something "rubbery" and "scaley" as per the book's descriptions is difficult.

To give the impression of "scales" I made a little textured stamp out of sculpey and tapped it along the surface in various spots to give him the hint of texture while maintaining the slick jade look.


The slight texture will also catch the antiquing finish I'll use later.

Something like this statue has but a subtler-

Also, here are some quick camera phone photos of where the sculpt is at with wings attached-







I was originally going to try and cast the wings separately but couldn't figure out how to do it properly and just attached the wings permanently with Apoxie sculpt to fill in the gaps since I had already coated the thing in primer. Those garage kits guys make it look so easy.

I'm still trying to figure out how the mold the thing though. Will those wings require a 3 part mold?

I'm also very curious about using translucent resin mixes to get a slightly deeper faux jade-like feel to it. Uncharted territory for me. Lots of tests ahead.

05.07.2012, 13:32
In addition to the Idol, the other major object in the story is the "Wilcox Bas-Relief". It goes that an Rhode Island artist in a fit maddening dreams awakes and sculpts a bas-relief with no knowledge of the subject.

Here's the text from the story describing the sculpture-

The bas-relief was a rough rectangle less than an inch thick and about five by six inches in area; obviously of modern origin. Its designs, however, were far from modern in atmosphere and suggestion; for, although the vagaries of cubism and futurism are many and wild, they do not often reproduce that cryptic regularity which lurks in prehistoric writing. And writing of some kind the bulk of these designs seemed certainly to be; though my memory, despite much the papers and collections of my uncle, failed in any way to identify this particular species, or even hint at its remotest affiliations.

Above these apparent hieroglyphics was a figure of evident pictorial intent, though its impressionistic execution forbade a very clear idea of its nature. It seemed to be a sort of monster, or symbol representing a monster, of a form which only a diseased fancy could conceive. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful. Behind the figure was a vague suggestions of a Cyclopean architectural background.

Amazingly the hieroglyphics happen to match up perfectly with the characters found around the base of the Cthulhu Idol of ancient origin from later in the story and sends our characters on a quest to figure out whats going on.

Here's my interpretation of this artifact-


I sculpted it out of pink Super Sculpey in a fairly rough style to give the idea that it made in a madman's feverish haste while still tight enough to look cool on a shelf.
I was getting to mold the beast last night and of course I instead decided to fix a few things before.

When set onto a flat surface the sculpture feels like it tilted to the right slighty. After checking the "squareness" of the base the bottom face proved to be off on the right side by a 1/16 of an inch or so which caused the small but noticeable tilt.


To fix this a made a puddle of body filler the size of the base right next to a 1/16 thick piece of styrene which the right edge of the base would rest on. The filler would harden and give me my newly corrected and level base.



I then smeared on some more filler to fill out the edges so I could then sand it back to it's proper edge shape.

Here's all the excess filler sliced of while the glop is in it's midway "rubbery" phase.


I then sanded it it out and filled in any little holes or hard edges with red glazing putty to create a seamless fix.


Getting back into the Cthulhu project.

Here's a couple of sketches made for the tablet/ bas relief-




05.07.2012, 13:33
My first silicon mold is finished!




I love the way it looks at this stage!



Cthulhu has claimed his first victim!



Peeling off the hot glue blob that held it down to the board.

It was stuck down firmly enough that a part of the original sculpt started to pop off when pried off. Not bad though.

Building the mother mold with plasti-paste.







Mold porn!



Poured up my first resin castings tonight with much success.



Learning a lot going through this process. The casts are pretty clean over all. I used Steve Neill's baby powder trick on the first casting and I think it definitely reduced the bubbles compared to the other two. The are a couple bubbles in the silicon mold in a couple deep wrinkles but the result resin balls pop off pretty easily with an exacto.

These castings will be mainly be used for paint tests.

Next I'll try tinting some resin and see if I can get a green/black swirl effect in the actual material and might even try some translucent material. Also want to try casting in cement to get the weight and cold feel of a real stone statue.

Also want to try casting with marble dust in the resin to make it colder to the touch as well. I remember reading something about that a while back when first researching the project.

I'm looking forward to making a new mold as well. There are two areas in the tips of elbows where air bubbles are getting trapped when they try to rise to the top. Tilting the mold a little bit reduces them a good amount but it's still annoying. I desire perfect castings! After I wear out the mold with these tests, the next one will be two part with proper vent tubes in those spots.